No. 7 Kentucky women beat No. 4 Louisville 69-64
Louisville was left wondering again how a 14-point lead slipped
away against rival Kentucky.
After building that big edge in the first half against the No. 7
Wildcats (8-0), Louisville squandered missing its first nine shots
in the second and the No. 4 Cardinals were beaten 69-64 on
Kentucky took advantage and grabbed its first lead on a
3-pointer from Bernisha Pinkett with 10:54 remaining. The Wildcats
never trailed again.
If history means anything, Louisville (7-1) should be able to
move on from this disappointing loss. After all, the Cardinals
rallied from last year’s one-point home defeat to the Wildcats and
reached their second NCAA championship game before losing to
But there was no doubt the Cardinals wanted this victory.
”This game isn’t going to define our season,” said guard Shoni
Schimmel, whose 17 points led the Cardinals. ”We knew that coming
”Of course, we wanted to win this game, and prepared hard to
win this game, but we just came up short.”
Schimmel finished with a game-high 17 points and added seven
rebounds and four assists. Sara Hammond had 12 points and seven
rebounds, but fouled out with 1:55 to go.
As poorly as Louisville was playing, the Cardinals tied the game
three times but couldn’t seize control. The numbers told the story
of their collapse.
The Cardinals shot 28 percent (10 of 36) in the second half
after a 12-for-24 start. Kentucky also battled back on the boards,
recovering from a 23-13 first-half deficit to outrebound Louisville
26-21 in the second half.
The Cardinals also struggled with Kentucky’s pressure, finishing
with 24 turnovers that were converted into 25 points.
”I thought we did a great job of rebounding in the first half,
controlled the boards, controlled the tempo of the game and played
it exactly how we wanted to play it,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz
said. ”I was really proud of them. Then, we just came out in the
second half and missed a lot of point-blank shots we normally don’t
miss and started to give up offensive rebounds because we were
”That’s a bad combination.”
Louisville led by 14 points in last year’s loss. Kentucky
started slowly in that game before Janee Thompson’s 3-pointer with
8.4 seconds left gave the Wildcats a 48-47 win.
DeNesha Stallworth led this year’s comeback with 15 points in
the second half, when she grabbed six of her eight rebounds.
Jennifer O’Neill added 12, including a critical jumper with 40.8
seconds left, and Thompson had 13.
”Coming into this game we knew how dominant of a player she
was,” Hammond said of Stallworth. ”We just needed to keep
circling her and be physical with her.
”I think we did that in the first half, but in the second half
she did a good job of working hard. Her team did a good job of
getting her the ball and getting her in open spots, allowing her to
get easy baskets.”
O’Neill’s effort led the Wildcats’ reserves, who outscored
Louisville’s 28-11. Kentucky got six points each from Bernisha
Pinkett and freshman guard Makayla Epps on 3-pointers. Azia Bishop
added four points and seven rebounds.
”Are we going to learn from it? Yeah,” Walz said. ”There’s no
question about it. We had our opportunities and we have got to take
advantage of them.”
The Cardinals have lost 16 straight games to Kentucky at